Title

The formality and informality of HRM practices in small firms

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publisher

Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

Faculty

Business and Law

School

Management

RAS ID

10703

Comments

This chapter was originally published as: Barrett, R. , & Mayson, S. (2010). The formality and informality of HRM practices in small firms. In Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson (Eds.). International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM (pp. 111-136). London: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Abstract

ln this chapter we contribute to our understanding of small firm management practices by investigating a series of questions in relation to HRM in small firms. The purpose is to understand what HRM practices are used in small firms and how they are applied. In light of the debates about the applicability of more formalized large-firm models of HRM in small firms, we particularly focus on the notion of formality and consider how this might emerge in small-firm HRM practice. We do this through interviews with owner-managers of 11 small firms in Victoria, Australia. Our concern is not simply whether or not practices are formalized, but with the logic of formalization or its purpose and look to older ideas about bureaucracy to pursue this.

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